A "Pharisäer" is an alcoholic hot beverage made from strong German coffee , brown rum and a topping of whipped cream. Traditionally served in a coffee cup, but nowadays also enjoyed from a mug, or glass.
The Pharisäer (Pharisee) drink was invented during a child baptism by the farmer Johannsen on the peninsula “Nordstrand” in Northern Germany in the 19th century. The strict pastor Georg Bleyer was a guest at the celebration after the baptism where coffee and cake was served the traditional way. As nobody wanted to upset the strict pastor no schnapps was served. The farmer who enjoyed his schnapps came up with a clever twist.
He served the pastor a cup of "normal" coffee but let the coffee for the rest of the guests prepare in the manner described in the recipe. The thick whipped cream topping prevented the pastor from smelling the rum.
But as the guests became more and more jolly at the celebration, the pastor became suspicious. He secretly sipped at the cup of his neighbor and discovered the betrayal. He was furious and cried out: “Oh, you Pharisees”. And that is how the drink got its name.
How is the drink called in German?
The delicious coffee drink is called “Pharisäer”. “Pharisäer” is the German word for “pharisee” or “hypocrite”.
How to pronounce "Pharisäer"?
Listen to this audio file to hear how to say "Pharisäer" in German.
This German Coffee with Rum (Pharisaeer Kaffee) and whipped cream is the national drink of North Frisia.
Authentic Pharisäer - Hot German Spiked Coffee Drink Recipe
Pharisee Coffee - Pharisäer Kaffee
- 1 cup of dark bold coffee
- 1 shot brown rum
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cube sugar
- Add hot water to a mug, cup or large glass. Let it sit for about 10 min. to preheat the mug.
- In the meantime, brew a cup of strong coffee and heat the rum. Make sure to don´t boil it.
- Whip the heavy whipping cream. Traditionally there is no sugar added but you can sweeten it to your taste.
- Empty the water from the mug and place the sugar cube into it.
- Pour in the warm rum and hot coffee.
- Garnish with a generous amount of whipped cream.
Traditionally the drink was served in a normal coffee cup. But as it became a popular drink for tourists it was served in a tall special mug with a saucer. And nowadays you can even find it garnished with all kinds of toppings.